Tag: 2019

Playing Catch Up

Playing Catch Up

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Spending a little time catching up in the last week. Blog posts that didn’t get edited on schedule, a cover that should have already been designed, internal formatting for a couple of projects that are supposed to become ebooks before summer, and even a couple of serial posts that didn’t get up exactly when they should have.

I’m down to just the uploads, Good Reads pages, and web pages for Heroes Inc and Graceland to be back on the track of where I wanted to be with most of my (ridiculous) goals for the year.

The only one of the primary goals that isn’t on track is the non-fiction book about ISIRTA. I’m listening to episodes, but not yet doing the detailed notes and analysis I should be. At the moment, it’s the achievement that’s most in doubt for 2019 drafting. That’s probably okay. If it happens in 2020, that’s fine, too. I’m enjoying the re-listen, especially those episodes I’ve only heard once.

I should do s Stretch Goals post.

And a review of the Standard Goals for 2019.

Be well, everyone.

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Writing Report for April 2019

Writing Report for April 2019

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So my word count for April is a more reasonable 70k. A little more focus on editing and a few extra non-commuting days as we convert the basement into an apartment for the oldest child I have coming back for the summer who now has an apartment’s worth of stuff rather than just a room’s worth. Average monthly word count for the year is now just over 75k, and this is an overall pace that makes me happy. Pulling that for the whole year would be 900k, and that will be, by far, the best writing year I’ve ever had at the raw number level.

Accomplishments in April:

  1. Plotting: finished the detailed outline level of Unified Destiny, the 3rd book of the Lords of Creation trilogy. After Fallen Heroes, drafting the 2nd and 3rd book of this set are the next major projects on the list.
  2. Big Hair Day currently at 48,825 words. I think I have 2,000 words or so of plot left.
  3. Fallen Heroes: a little more progress here, as well, with this one now at 23,884 words. I’m around a third of the way through what I’ve plotted here.
  4. Short fiction: a novelette with the working title “Welcome to the Swamp” started and finished at 8,748 words on the first draft.
  5. Editing: Shrine. After finding a good split point that was reasonably close to the middle of what was book 2, I put in the time to read through the whole of the manuscript and add about a hundred comments of things I wanted to fix or expand on.
  6. Still editing: Forest. The second half of what was Book 2 of Troll World, I’m about mid-way through the revision notes draft on this one.
  7. Fan Fiction: the conversion from Audio Drama scripts to first draft prose novel of A Matter of Honour, is about 95% complete.
  8. 10 blog posts.
  9. 12 journal entries.

Total word count for the month of 70,599 and that’s a number I’m entirely happy with.

On the publishing side of my goals:

  1. So is Skip to My Luu. Full-length Science Fiction novel. Ebook at the end of March, and now also available as a paperback.
  2. Turn the World Around. Ebook and paperback files done and uploaded and it’s now available.
  3. Graceland design complete. Essentially ready to press publish on.
  4. Heroes Inc. cover design complete. Most of the formatting done.
  5.  “Babysitting the Taran-Saurus” complete and ready to go. Publication date current flagged as May 15th.
  6. On the fanfic side, “Wolves and Sheepdogs”, a ST:TOS fanfic starring Lieutenant Leslie, is complete on Wattpad or available here.
  7. Also fanfic, formatting is complete for Fractured Unity. Scheduled for June launch on Wattpad and file availability.
  8. Short Story Submissions: 3. Okay, not so close to the goal.

Next up, primary writing goals for May. I’m going to keep them light, and not so I can feel good smashing through them, but because May is looking like a busy month in the real world. Not sure I’m expecting to exceed them by much.

  1. Primary Novel project: I expect to finish the first draft of Big Hair Day in the next few days, vacation notwithstanding. Right now, there’s only about 4k left in plotted words. Should be easy to get to the end.
  2. Which moves Fallen Heroes to the primary project at that point, and with a little over 40k (projected) left of plot, that’s likely to take until sometime in June.
  3. Secondary Novel project: should be Curaçao project that’s been chewing at the back of my brain since we got back. Looking for about 5k words here, due to extra time commitments in May, but I have to finish plotting it first.
  4. Short Fiction: looking for 5k or so in short fiction for the same reason.
  5. Plotting: finish the plotting of the novel where Curaçao figures as a primary setting.
  6. Plotting: Scorpion’s Prize. Some thoughts on a swashbuckling space adventure. Not my usual production, but it’s feeling fun.
  7. Plotting: Strewn Across the Stars. Sequel to Scattered on the Wind.
  8. Editing: Forest, finishing revision notes.
  9. Editing: Palace. I hope to behalf way through revision notes by the end of the month, but we’ll see. This one is a bit longer and isn’t going to be split.
  10. Editing: “Trollsign”. I need to get this one to final draft because it’s on my list of things I want to turn into ebooks this year.
  11. Non-fiction word count goal for the month: 10000 words. Blog and journal, mainly, but we’ll see what happens.

Switching over to publishing:

  1. The standard target of 10 short story submissions.
  2. Keeping working on finding a home for Ancient Runes. Traditional publishing, so this goal is going to get repeated a lot, I think.
  3. Serialization finishes for “Thorvald’s Wyrd”, continuing for Skip to My Luu, and beginning for “Turn the World Around”.
  4. Ebook release for “Babysitting the Taran-Saurus” and Heroes Inc.
  5. Paperback layout for Heroes Inc.
  6. Design and layout for a collection of haiku (yes, really), “Mummy Powder”, and “Design for Conspiracy” (ST:TOS fanfic). If I get to that point, I’m now working two months ahead. Now to push to be three to give myself breathing room.

The total word goal for the month is only 40k, depending on the length of those two short stories, and the publishing side should be doable. I hope it will break 60, though.

Be well, everyone.

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Writing Report for March 2019

Writing Report for March 2019

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Holy word count, Batman! Going back through my records, this was actually my best month for word count ever, and the first time I’ve ever broken 100,000 words in a month. Distant number 2 was January this year at under 82k, and 3rd place was September last year at a touch over 81k. I know I’ve said my goal is progress rather than word count, but wow.

Accomplishments in March:

  1. Battlefield: complete at 74.4k, but with a lot of dictation cleanup still to be done. Of course, that’s goes along with the previous two novels in the set, so there’s still a lot of work to be done there.
  2. Welkiri Corps: complete at 60,003 words, but only about 60% dictation clean. Only 10k more than I’d been thinking it would finish at, and very briefly, the projected finish date was the same as for Battlefield. Reality was two days after.
  3. Still on the novel front, I started in hard on Big Hair Day. After a little struggling in the first couple of chapters, I think I’ve found the character’s voice, and I’m not stressing over the outline. Currently at 23,285 words with a projection of 46-50,000 in a very bare bones first draft.
  4. And, since I didn’t have any short fiction in my skull screaming to be written at the time, I started in on Fallen Heroes, the third book in the Citizen trilogy, and broke 14k on the weekend working on it as a secondary project.
  5. Editing: all of the Undead stories now resting at final draft, with the last one getting there just a couple of days ago. The cover I’ve envisioned for this one needs some original artwork, and I’m toying with a bit of internal, too. Not releasing for a while, but I’m happy to have the stories complete.
  6. Still editing: finished the final draft of Fractured Unity the night before last, and definitely ahead of the original schedule. Cover design needed there, too, but I’m hoping to Wattpad this awesome work of Star Trek fan fiction in June.
  7. Fan Fiction: the conversion from Audio Drama to first draft prose novel of A Matter of Honour, is about 54% complete. Slow going as this is a “spare moments” conversion that really wasn’t on this year’s list, but I’m hoping to have this one converted before the end of May. Original Series Star Trek, if that surprises you. Or if it doesn’t.
  8. 11 blog posts. A little light again, but I missed a whole week.
  9. 14 journal entries. More here than I expected, as I was originally aiming for a minimum of one per week. Averaging 3 most of the time.

Total word count for the month of 100,981 which seriously kicks the planned 40k. It was already going to be a solid month when a solo trip to Ottawa with zero side trips gave me a 9k day and an hour’s worth of podcast listening at 2x normal speed.

I don’t expect to produce at this rate every month. I didn’t expect to produce at this rate this month. The week that borders April and May is a vacation week, and I’m sure I’ll take more time off somewhere. Remembering always that life happens. But even looking at the week and a half I spent on vacation in February, my average month of word production in 2019 is a little over 76k.

The problem with that, of course, is that I’m generating new words far faster than I can polish most of them. Not a bad problem to have, but still.

On the indie publishing side, I’ve made some progress here on a bunch of projects. My goal is to get to the point where I’m working about two months ahead.

  1. “Thorvald’s Wyrd” is available on Amazon as both an ebook and a paperback. Heroic Fantasy novelette.
  2. So is Skip to My Luu. Full-length Science Fiction novel.
  3. Turn the World Around is ready to go and just needs uploading. Science Fiction novella, within visual distance of being a novel.
  4. Cover re-design and upload for “Babysitting the Taran-Saurus”. Ebook slotted for May.
  5. On the fanfic side, “Breath Control”, a ST:TOS fanfic starring Dr. Chapel, is complete on Wattpad or available here.
  6. Also fanfic, “Wolves and Sheep Dogs”, a ST:TOS story starring Lieutenant Leslie, is ready to go and will release in April.

Next up, primary writing goals for April. I’m going to keep them light

  1. Primary Novel project: 21,000 words on Big Hair Day would make me happy. Having a similar primary novel word count as in March might get me to the end of the plot, and that would make me ecstatic.
  2. Secondary Novel project: see point number 3 in this list, but I’m going to set the word count target here at 5k.
  3. Short Fiction: looking to write two short fiction stories, in the 2-5k range each.
  4. Plotting: Unified Destiny (3rd book in a trilogy) plotted out to the scene level and ready to pick up the first draft right after I draft its predecessor, Converging Destiny.
  5. Plotting: start the plotting of the novel where Curaçao figures as a primary setting.
  6. Editing: I’m going to start on the read-throughs of volumes 2-5 of Troll World, remembering that what’s currently volume two is going to get split at the appropriate point. This is a quarter of a million words in rough (dictation clean up not done) first draft, so I expect this to take a few months. Hoping to devote enough time to cover 50k per month on clean up and note making.
  7. Non-fiction word count goal for the month 10000 words. Blog and journal, mainly.

Switching over to publishing:

  1. 10 short story submissions. This is going to be a standard target, but I’m going to keep mentioning it to keep myself honest and because I haven’t actually hit it yet this year.
  2. Keeping working on finding a home for Ancient Runes. Traditional publishing, so this goal is going to get repeated a lot, I think.
  3. Serialization continues for “Thorvald’s Wyrd” and Skip to My Luu, continues for “Thorvald’s Wyrd”, and runs completely for “Wolves and Sheepdogs”.
  4. Ebooks for “Babysitting the Taran-Saurus” and “Wolves and Sheepdogs”. I actually could have done both of these last month, and they’re both essentially ready, but while I want to produce steady content, I’m not looking to flood things.
  5. Design and layout for Heroes Inc. (Superhero novel), “Graceland” (linked collection), “Babysitting the Taran-saurus” (SF novelette, and Fractured Unity (ST:TOS fanfic novel).

The total word goal for the month is about 45k, depending on the length of those two short stories, and the publishing side should be doable. Just keep swimming.

Be well, everyone.

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Book Releases for 2019 Q2

Book Releases for 2019 Q2

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The basic plan for the second quarter of this, my first Indie Publishing Year, has a total of 6 things in it: 2 short, 1 long, 1 collection, and 2 fan fiction pieces.

In a little more detail:

April

Turn the World Around, a SF novella coming in at just barely under 35,000 words. Inspired by a particular episode of the Muppet Show. The original Muppet Show. Ebook and probably paperback.

Wolves and Sheepdogs, a 5,300 word short story starring Lieutenant Leslie of Star Trek, The Original Series fame. PDF only and only on the fanfic page here.

May

Heroes Inc, a superhero novel and the first book in The Citizen Trilogy, the final book of which I’m drafting right now. Ebook and paperback for sure. cover not done yet, but it’s coming.

“Babysitting the Taran-saurus”, a 14,000-word SF novelette I serialized on Wattpad several years ago. Now with a brand new cover and becoming a downloadable ebook.

June

Graceland, a collection of stories inspired by what was probably the most influential music on my listening, the Paul Simon album of the same name. Discovered as a teenager and still in the rotation more than 30 years later, there’s a story inspired by each song, some with bits of lyric almost directly pulled out and some a little less obviously (I hope).

Fractured Unity, my first novel-length fanfic, catching up with the crew of the Enterprise as they return to Cestus 3, more than three years after the initial encounter with the Gorn.

And there’s Q2. Not that I don’t have specific plans for Q3 and Q4, but the plan is more flexible the farther into the future we look. Right now, I’m trying to get to the point where I’m working two months ahead in terms of covers, formatting, and compiling. I’d like to stretch that to three to give myself some breathing space. More would probably be smarter, but I’ve got to hit the two-month mark first.

And I certainly have to keep working on new stuff. Constantly.

Be well, everyone.

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Writing Report for February 2019

Writing Report for February 2019

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A good month, although a lot lighter than January, mainly due to doing only a little writing, and that by hand, during the vacation trip to (mostly) to Curaçao that was more or less a diary of the trip. 27 writing days out of a possible 28. Groundhog day got missed completely for reasons.

Accomplishments in February:

  1. Welkiri Corps: now coming in at 49,616 words, and I’ve revised my guess at the word count to 55k. The end is a little farther off than I thought it was, and may still be. We’ll see.
  2. Battlefield: is now coming in at 59.6k and I’m still forecasting a 77k first draft with the 36th (of 46) chapter complete.
  3. Editing: 32 of the 40 Undead stories are at third draft status, with 8 out of 40 at final.
  4. Still editing: the 3rd draft of Fractured Unity is complete. I’m going to let it rest for a while as I edit other things until just before I’m ready to start posting it.
  5. 11 blog posts. A little light, but I was travelling for more than a week. That trip will probably get me a bunch of blog posts down the line. And maybe a novel. Definitely a few short stories.
  6. 23 journal entries, 10 of them from the vacation diary.

Total word count for the month of 47,594 which is a lot lower than January’s 81,661 (but far above the 23k goal), and averaged only 1570 words per writing day. The average month for 2019 is probably somewhere in between the two, but every month is a new one and life happens.

On the publishing side, things were not according to the original forecast, but have caught me up a little to where I want to wind up for the year.

  1. Thorvald’s Wyrd has started posting on Wattpad and the ebooks are in progress.
  2. Cover designs are complete for “Babysitting the Taran-Saurus” (a makeover) and “Breath Control”, a ST:TOS fanfic. Imagery selected for a novella and a novel to publish in the next few weeks.

Next up, Goals for February:

  1. Short Fiction: Welkiri Corps should be complete well before the end of March and I hope to put a short story or two into the short fiction category, finally. Overall word count goal of 10k here.
  2. Battlefield: 21,000 words or to the end of the plot. I’m hopeful
  3. Short fiction editing: moving into the final draft for the rest of the Undead stories.
  4. Third draft of Fractured Unity to be completed.
  5. Non-fiction word count goal for the month is a mere 5000 words.

Switching over to publishing:

  1. 10 short story submissions.
  2. Query letters will go out for Ancient Runes.
  3. Ebooks for “Thorvald’s Wyrd”, Turn the World Around, Skip to My Luu, and “Breath Control”.
  4. Serialization begins for Skip to My Luu, continues for “Thorvald’s Wyrd”, and runs completely for “Breath Control”.
  5. Ebooks for “Babysitting the Taran-Saurus” and “Wolves and Sheepdogs”.
  6. Cover design and layout for Skip To My Luu. I’d like to get this up and rolling as well.

The total word goal for the month is 40k. So long as I continue to work hard and don’t miss too many days, this should be doable. I actually hope it will be significantly higher, though I’m not necessarily pushing for a January total.

Be well, everyone.

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Writing Report for January 2019

Writing Report for January 2019

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A good beginning to the writing year: 31 writing days out of a possible 31.

Accomplishments in January:

  1. Welkiri Corps: now coming in at 39,443 words, and I think it’s going to just tick 50k by the time I’m done, although it might be a little lower. I seem to be careening towards the end point right now.
  2. Battlefield: just broke the 43k mark today (43,352). Currently forecasting a 77k first draft, which is tighter than usual for a first draft plot for me, drifting only 5k from the original 72k estimate with the 25th (of 46) chapter almost complete.
  3. Editing: finished the final draft of Hero’s Life. Hopefully drafting the third book in the trilogy, Fallen Heroes, this year.
  4. Also editing: all but one short and two novelettes of the chosen Undead stories are at least at third draft status, with 8 out of 40 at final. The short (currently 5400 words) will probably finish 3rd draft tomorrow.
  5. Still editing: working my way through the “make it pretty” draft of Fractured Unity, just over half way through chapter 9 (of 20).
  6. 17 blog posts.
  7. 12 journal entries.

Total word count for the month of 81,661, averaging over 2.6k words per day. I think this was an above average month for what I’m expecting for the rest of the year, even with missing a commuting day due to have to replace a car battery. I worked from home that day and lost the dictation word count, doing some editing in the evening. However, I did also do two solo trips to Ottawa, once using about half the trip for dictation for 6k words and once using all of it to hit 12.7k, so there’s pair of significant boosts there. I don’t expect those trips to be normal, at least not going on my own.

On the publishing side, things were a bit lighter than I originally intended.

  1. I did get all of “Between a Rock and a Klingon” posted on Wattpad.
  2. I also mostly did the cover design for “Thorvald’s Wyrd” but haven’t managed the internal layout yet.

Next up:  February Goals. The open ones, at least. These are heavily reduced due to the vacation my wife and I are taking. Not bringing a computer along.

Goals for February:

  1. Short Fiction: it’s just possible that I’ll get Welkiri Corps done by the end of Feb, but with the vacation it’s more likely that it will take a week or so into March. Looking for at least 6k here.
  2. Battlefield: 12,000 words. There are only 19 commuting days in February for me, with no vacation involved. Looking at the time I’m taking off for flights and recovery, I’m down to only 12.
  3. Short fiction editing: the last Undead stories to 3rd draft, and start into the final drafts of the 32 that aren’t there already.
  4. Third draft of Fractured Unity to be completed.
  5. Non-fiction word count goal for the month is a mere 5000 words.

Switching over to publishing:

  1. I do still want to try to get 10 short story submissions in.
  2. The first batch of query letters will go out for Ancient Runes. Yeah, that was supposed to happen in January.
  3. “Thorvald’s Wyrd” layout to be finished so that it can actually become an ebook and start posting on Wattpad.
  4. Cover design and layout for Skip To My Luu. I’d like to get this up and rolling as well.

The total word goal for the month is only 23k. Very low, but in line with time off and other plans for the month. A vacation that costs only a week of commutes will drop the monthly goals by 9250 words. I’ll adjust accordingly. I’m taking 7 working days and there’s a stat holiday in February, too. March is back to normal and I’ll likely be looking for a similar set of word count goals as I’d originally set for January, something around 40k.

Be well, everyone.

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2019: The Writing Goals

2019: The Writing Goals

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I’ve spent the last five months getting my writing back on track, ramping up the editing of drafted material, and prepping for some indie, and hopefully professional, publishing in 2019.

Rather than talk about specific projects, even if I’ve got them in mind, I’m going to keep the goals listing very general. I do have a habit of reforecasting and modifying my plans on a regular basis, so I’m going to establish benchmarks here instead of specifics.

I’m building my writing

Writing Goals

  1. Plotting of the four novels I hope to write in 2020.
  2. First draft of three novels.
  3. Three novels to final draft.
  4. 12 Short Stories, which will likely mostly fall into the 3-7k range. Yes, scaling back to one completed story per month. There are reasons, which will be revealed in the fullness of time.
  5. Editing on all of the Undead stories. I’m starting the year with about a quarter of them at a finished third draft.
  6. ST:FU Final Draft. This may be harder than it sounds. The first draft was just a conversion from an audio drama script. The second will likely involve some heavy expansion.
  7. Finish the Haiku book. I just need the lilacs to bloom to get the image I want.
  8. Book-length non-fiction project. Hint: ISIRTA.
  9. 100 Blog Posts. 2 per week, which I managed in 2018, from the first of August onward.
  10. 50 Journal entries. 1 per week. There was a time when I kept a daily journal with entries 100-200 words long. I somehow doubt I’ll ever get back to that level.

Making the writing piece of things only requires an average word count of 1100 per day. Counting all of my writing days in 2018, I averaged just a touch over 2000. That said, I’ve built a lot more editing into the plan than previously. Aside from all of the books I want to write, I have six novels somewhere past first draft complete but not having made it to or through final draft yet and at least 50 short stories that fall into the same category. Those numbers are only going to grow if I don’t start catching up.

But 1100 words per day on average means that if all of my drafting is via dictation during commutes (which I hope it won’t be), I need to manage 1750 words per commuting day in 2019. As in every commuting day. I average about 40 words per minute composing and dictating while I drive. Not exactly fast, but that does add up to 2400 words per hour, which is roughly my daily total commute. 1750 seems achievable.

Publishing Goals

To preface these goals, I’ll note that I have seven novels and one collection sitting, waiting. Final draft complete, but I haven’t taken that next step. This year, I’m going to take a whole bunch of next steps.

  1. I’m going to shop 2 of those 7, at minimum, looking for either an agent or a small press for each.
  2. I’m going to independently publish 3 of the other 5.
  3. I’m also going the indie route on that collection.
  4. And on four shorter pieces, though nothing smaller than a long novelette.
  5. 100 short story submissions to magazines, websites, and anthologies.
  6. All 7 of my Star Trek shorts will appear on Wattpad and maybe wind up being downloadable PDF files as well.

If it seems like a lot, it probably is, and there are certainly no guarantees. But I’m a firm believer in dreaming big. All of the writing goals are more than achievable if I stay more or less on the track I’ve been building for the last half year. The publishing ones are a new piece of the puzzle, except for short story submissions, so they don’t have any data to back them up, but we’ll see how things work out.

There are also a handful of secret goals and stretch goals which I have detailed, but will probably only get shared on a one-by-one basis as conditions are met.

Be well, everyone.

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